The World Series Dreams of Red Sox Nation

by Molly Kenney*

Even when they couldn’t win the World Series for 86 years, the Boston Red Sox were the best team in baseball. In 2004, they proved it in epic fashion, and this year they could — knock on wood — do it again. They have the best record in baseball, and, as always, the biggest hearts. The Sox can’t really be called baseball’s underdog this season, but they still have the underdog appeal.

Across the Atlantic, American baseball means little, but everyone knows about the Sox. It’s no coincidence that the sports pub that shows American games is Boston-themed and named after the city’s landmark, Cheers. Despite the whole tea party thing, Brits seem to root for the Sox, and, more importantly, they recognize the evil that is the New York Yankees. Recently, over a pint after game six of the American League Championship Series (ALCS), one Brit suggested that the phenomenal Sox could become the new Yankees, the team of high-paid prodigies hammering its way through the season. (But not this year, Yankees!) That simply won’t happen.

If the Sox management and players stay as smart next season as they were this one, the Sox could very well become the juggernaut of American baseball. But they’ll never deign to think only of the money, and they’ll always be a star team rather than a team of stars. Together, they staged the biggest comeback in playoff history and broke a curse, demonstrating that they are clearly God’s chosen team. When the Sox are on, they look like a bunch of little boys having the time of their lives; when they’re off, they look like little boys struggling to tie their shoes. They are sincere and lovable, members of the collective Boston family. Their fans would never let them become the preening, arrogant Yankees, even if this year is the beginning of their dynastic rule of baseball.

Tonight, millions on both sides of the Atlantic, probably even in remote villages across the world, will be cheering for the Red Sox, everyone’s favorite boys and the best team in baseball.** And that’s how it should be.

*The author is a native Bostonian, so her bias comes naturally; this year she is watching the Series from London.

**Baseball's World Series opens in Boston on Wednesday night, Oct. 24, with the Red Sox hosting the Colorado Rockies.

(Photo of Jonathan Papelbon, the closing pitcher of the Boston Red Sox, by Waldo Jaquith of Charlottesville, VA, via Flickr, using a Creative Commons license.)

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Anonymous said...

This just in...Fenway voted one of the WORST SPORTS ARENAS


Boston's Fenway Park voted one of sports' "worst arenas"

This one's pretty funny though...

Dumb things baseball fans get excited about

Jeff Siegel said...

Red Sox fans are approaching a huge metaphysical crossroads: If their team wins the World Series this year, will they turn into an Evil Empire, just like their nemesis, the New York Yankees? Can a team remain lovable if it wins all the time? Will it lose all the sympathy it built up during its years of futility?

mkenney said...

The World Series dream has come true!

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